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Archive for April, 2010

From Tom Norrington-Davies:

“There is one recipe I turn to every year when I get the first wild garlic, between late March and May. The leaves have a natural affinity with many soups, especially when you wilt them in, off the heat at the last minute. This soup is so unbelievably simple, it actually champions their flavor.”

Potato and bread soup with wild garlic recipe

1. 3 tbsp olive oil
2. 2 onions, finely diced
3. 4 large (about 800g) floury potatoes, diced
4. 600ml hot vegetable (or chicken) stock
5. About 100g stale rustic bread, such as sourdough or ciabatta, torn into pieces
6. 3-4 handfuls wild garlic, washed but whole
7. Extra-virgin olive oil (preferably a peppery one), to serve
8. 1 dried red chilli, crumbled, to serve (optional)

1. Gently heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until soft but not browned. Stir in the potatoes and a good pinch of sea salt, cover and reduce the heat to low. Sweat for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes start to look fluffy around the edges. Check they aren’t catching.
2. Add the stock to the pan, increase the heat slightly and bring the soup up to a simmer but don’t boil. Simmer for 6-8 minutes or until the potatoes are really soft. Add the bread pieces and mash them gently into the soup. You could purée the soup but I use a potato masher as this gives it more texture.
3. Check the seasoning and thickness of the soup. Remove from the heat and add the wild garlic to wilt, or line the soup bowls with the wild garlic and then pour in the soup. Put the extra-virgin olive oil and the chilli, if using, on the table for people to help themselves. You could also garnish the soup with a grated, crumbly cheese, such as Parmesan, Pecorino or even  a mild Cheddar.

**You can use more potatoes instead of bread. Don’t use stock cubes as these will fight with the subtlety of the wild garlic. Use home-made stock, if possible, or just water.

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Turkey hunting in South Texas

Informative article from Dallas Morning News columnist Ray Sasser regarding the decline of turkey hunting (the season just started here in South Texas on March 20). Last year was down by 30%+ with most turkey hunters residing outside of Texas – especially from the Southeast, where spring hunting is more popular. Critics argue that Texan hunters don’t appreciate the value in hunting turkeys nor do it properly. Sasser suggests using a rigged out 20-gauge shotgun with a scope.

There are a variety of turkey hunting packages available, with most currently taking place inthe Rio Grande Valley.

I’d love some wild turkey if anyone wants to hunt it for me…Anyone?

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Starbucks vs. Yaupon

Yaupon (Ilex vomitoria)  is a species of holly native to southeastern North America, including South Texas. 

According to wikipedia, Native Americans used the leaves and stems to brew a tea called asi or black drink for male-only purification and unity rituals. The ceremony included vomiting, and Europeans incorrectly believed that it was the drink itself that caused it (hence the Latin name). The active ingredient is actually caffeine, and the vomiting was either learned or as a result of the great quantities in which they drank the beverage coupled with fasting.

So when times get tough and you don’t want to shell out $5.25 for a skinny grande triple shot cinnamon dolce latte, reach for some Yaupon leaves and give ’em a good chew.

p.s. Watch out Starbucks

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Three Rivers Salsa Festival

The annual Salsa Festival begins at 10 a.m. April 10 in downtown Three Rivers. The event features salsa judging, kids rides and games, food booths. Music will be provided by Chris Rybak, The Brush Country Music Jamboree band, Bobby Flores, Joe Nixon, Best Friends, Robyn Mundy and the Rockport Gospel Force.

And it’s FREE.

Information:  361-786-4330
http://www.threeriverstx.org/salsafest/index.html

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